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Confiscate, return looted assets to countries of origin, says African Group

Confiscate, return looted assets to countries of origin, says African Group
December 13
06:59 2023

Chola Milambo, Zambia’s permanent representative to the UN and leader of the African Group, says the growth of illicit financial flows (IFFs) on the continent is leaving a damaging effect.

According to a statement released on Tuesday, Milambo spoke during a plenary session of the 10th conference of states parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in Atlanta, United States.

Milambo called for global action against IFFs and urged foreign jurisdictions where stolen assets from Africa are domiciled to confiscate them and return them to the countries of origin.

“The African Group regrets the growth of illicit financial flows in the continent. Asset recovery is the fundamental principle of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and the African Group therefore enjoins member-countries to confiscate and return stolen assets from Africa to the countries of origin,” he said.

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“The African Group fully welcomes and endorses the recommendations of the United Nations High Level Panel otherwise known as the FACTI Panel on asset recovery towards achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

He frowned at the high level of corruption and bribery aided by foreign conglomerates and asked African stakeholders to unite on a threshold in the fight against corruption.

Also speaking at the plenary, Lateef Fagbemi, attorney general of the federation (AGF) and minister of justice, said the Nigerian government is taking innovative measures to combat all forms of corruption.

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During the session, the AGF raised concerns over the undermining efforts of multinational corporations, particularly towards delaying asset recovery by the country and enhancement of domestic resource mobilisation.

“We note with great concern the threats posed by corruption, money laundering and illicit financial flows (IFFs) to the country,” the minister said.

“Nigeria has suffered greatly from the damaging effect of corruption, money laundering and IFFs which has resulted in the loss of colossal amounts of money running into billions by the country.

“We are however taking some bold steps and measures to combat the vices, including the opening of a beneficial ownership register.

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“Asset recovery is the kernel of our anti-corruption fight. Let me reiterate Nigeria’s unwavering commitment to the fight against corruption, money laundering and IFFs.”

The UN’s African Group is made up of 54 African Union (AU) member-states and holds regular meetings to discuss UN resolutions and topics to reach a common position.

 

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